The Chicago Bears overcame a 16-point second-half deficit against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and they did it without their starting quarterback.
Indeed, the Bears benched former No. 2 pick Mitchell Trubisky in favor of former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead Chicago to a 30-26 victory.
It was a stunning win to continue a stunning 3-0 start for the Bears. And with Foles under center, there’s no reason to think the wins can’t continue.
“At least [you’ve] got some house money, and if it takes Foles a week or two to fully get his fingerprints on this offense, then it won’t necessarily be to their detriment,” Brandon Tierney said on Tiki & Tierney. “They’re not better than Green Bay, but when you win three out of your first three games – and there’s an expanded playoff spot – you should be a Wild Card team.”
Trubisky averaged 5.4 yards per play and 29.6 yards per drive against Atlanta; Foles averaged 5.8 yards per play and 32.9 yards per drive. He also fared better on third down, converting three of eight, while Trubisky converted one of seven.
Trubisky, who was drafted ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017, has struggled for much of his career. Many analysts felt his benching was inevitable; now that it’s happened, some believe it’s permanent.
Still, Tiki Barber believes the Bears have to feel confident right now, especially given how solid their defense has been. The Bears rank ninth in the league in scoring defense (20.7 points per game allowed), first in completion percentage (56.7 percent) and third in third down conversion percentage (31.0).
“If they get rid of those bad offensive moments [and can] be balanced as a team, defensively you’re saying, ‘All right, we might be able to play with almost anybody. Offensively, we’ve gotten lucky because we’re 3-0, and now we have Nick Foles, who is a veteran and has brought his heroics wherever he’s gone,’” Barber said. “I’m feeling good if I’m the Chicago Bears. I’m not saying I’m confident that we’re winning a championship, but I’m actually feeling good about myself.”
While Bears fans may remain skeptical, the fact is the team is 3-0. Tiki and Tierney agree that the Bears should see what happens this season and not try to tank in hopes of drafting Trubisky’s long-term replacement.
“You don’t want to do that because it creates a horrendous culture that takes years to overcome,” Barber said of tanking.
“And there’s no guarantee you draft the right guy,” Tierney added.
“That’s right,” Barber said. “Look at the Giants and the Jets; it just takes years to overcome that mediocrity in the locker room. Not that there’s not good players there, but it just takes some time to overcome. If you’re the Bears, you want to create a winner – and I think right now, they have a winner, even if it’s by accident.”
The Bears host the Colts (2-1) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.